About a third of all food produced for human consumption goes to waste, in addition to a plethora of other prevantable issues currently plaguing the planet. Here’s how one brand plans to make a difference both for the world, and for itself.
1. Set public goals. Last year, Dole Asia issued The Dole Promise, a public pledge to do its best to tackle global malnutrition and food insecurity, in addition to improving the sustainability of its own operations and the wellbeing of its workers and farmers. By 2025, the company plans to end the use of petroleum-based plastic packaging, reduce its fruit waste to zero, and remove all processed sugar from its products. Finally, by 2030, it aims to be completely carbon neutral.
2. …but know your limits. While the list of promises is both long and lofty, Dole acknowledges that when it comes to global issues, it “cannot solve this by itself“, which is a step all brands must take. That said, asking for help is necessary. Dole Asia launched The Sunshine for All Fund to initially provide $2 million a year in enlisting the help of entrepreneurs, NGOs, social enterprises, influencers, and investors to become their strategic partners. Even investments or grants of $50,000 to $75,000 can be enough to jumpstart big ideas.
3. Tend to your own, with technology. Helping others while your own brand bleeds internally is fruitless. With these funds, Dole plans to focus on areas already in its wheelhouse like crop nutrition, upcycling solutions to reduce food waste, and environmental impact and packaging. To amplify the effectiveness of these solutions, the company will tap into technologies like robotics, IOT software and hardware, biotech and data analytics.
4. Make your mission known. Dole conducted a public information campaign called Malnutrition Labels which saw it display the opposite of nutrition labels on outdoor landmarks in major cities including Baltimore, New York City, and Los Angeles to raise awareness about food insecurity and malnutrition. It also forged a partnership with Solidaridad, a Netherlands-based development organization that to directly benefit Dole’s farmers in Southeast Asia, particularly in Thailand. Alternately, matching consumer trends based on location and consumer preferences is key, as observed in Gartner’s report on the topic. As such, in the U.S., Dole put out a pilot program to improve nutrition in “food deserts” like Jackson, Mississippi.
5. Help others to help yourself. While making big changes may feel intimidating, understand that their effects will be equally impactful. With its new promises in place, Dole aims to increase the value of its business by 50% by the year 2025, in addition to amping up sales from clean products, plus the added bonus of increased brand attraction, as consumers actively seek out labels with a bigger purpose.